We know that the back to school season can be exciting, but it can also create anxiety for many. Kids and adults! Here are 6 tips to help ease back to school anxiety.
Many children feel anxious when returning to school after a long summer break. For some kids coming back to school is exciting because they get to see all their friends again. However, for a large number of children, this can be a time of anxiety….even if they are excited to see their friends and teachers. There are all sorts of new people, places, and things to worry about. Below are some tips to help ease back to school anxiety for your child during the first few days back at school, and throughout the year. Be sure to listen to our podcast with Dr. Stephanie Smith as she talks about anxiety around back to school.
Tips To Ease Back To School Anxiety
Talk to your child about their concerns: Ask them what they are worried about and how you can help.
The most important thing is to listen to them and show that you understand what they’re feeling. They might be suffering from fear of not being able to keep up with their work, worries about making friends, or being nervous about having a new teacher.
Try and find out what specifically is causing their anxiety and work on addressing that issue, it may be one thing, it may be several. Be sure to reassure your child, listen to their concerns, and offer them support throughout the school year.
Work with your child to create a plan for returning to school.
This could include talking through any worries, setting small goals, and preparing for any challenges that may come up.
Discuss what to do when that anxious feeling hits – Are you going to avoid certain people or places? Are you going to write in a journal or practice relaxation techniques? Identify what works for your child and put it into their plan.
Add self-care into the plan – This means taking care of you and your child both mentally and physically. Get enough sleep, eat healthy foods (there are foods that helps reduce anxiety!), and exercise regularly. Taking care of yourself will help reduce stress levels and make it easier to manage anxiety.
Encourage your kids to talk about their anxiety – One of the most effective ways to deal with anxiety is to talk about it. Talking about anxiety can help your child feel less alone and that they can manage it. You can help them by providing a safe and supportive environment where they can share their thoughts and feelings without judgement.
This could include setting up a homework area, planning out their clothes for the week, and making sure they have everything they need.
Many people – especially children – feel anxious when their environment is cluttered and unorganized. This is because when our surroundings are messy, our brain takes on the task of trying to organize everything, which can lead to feelings of anxiety and stress.
Having a system for organizing your belongings can also help to reduce anxiety, because it eliminates the need to remember where everything is located.
Organize back to school supplies – School supplies can be a major source of stress for both parents and children. Not only do you have to worry about what to buy, but also where to put everything when you get it home.
Follow these simple organizational tips for back-to-school supplies:
- Start by sorting your supplies into categories. This will help you decide what needs to go in each drawer or backpack.
- Label each container or drawer with a specific category, such as “pencils,” “pens,” “markers,” etc. This will help keep things organized and easy to find during the school year.
- Use smaller containers or drawers for smaller items like erasers, highlighters, and sharpeners. This will keep them from getting lost in the shuffle.
- Designate a space for your supplies.
Get Their Space Ready
Set up a personal study space with comfortable seating and lighting. Students need a designated study space to get the most out of their school year. This space should be free from distractions and provide a comfortable place for students to focus on their work. Without a designated study space, kids are more likely to get sidetracked and lose focus.
A designated study space can be in any room of the house, but it’s important that it’s set up specifically for studying. The space should include a desk or table for working, as well as a place to store books and supplies. It’s also helpful to have a quiet place to relax or take breaks.
Kids need time to focus on their schoolwork, and having a designated study space is one way to help them do that. A study space can help improve productivity and reduce stress levels.
Create and Use a Calendar
It’s important for students to have a calendar handy to keep track of homework, tests, and other important dates, including family events.
There are many different types of calendars available, pick the one that works best for you, your family and your child. Keep in mind, what works best for you, may not work best for your child. Personally, I love a paper calendar where I’m not sure my kids know what a paper calendar is 😉
Make time for relaxation: Encourage your child to take some time for themselves each day.
This could involve taking a bath, reading, or just relaxing in a quiet place. Ask them what they would like to do, then help them make it happen.
There are many different relaxation activities that can help reduce anxiety. Some people find that yoga or meditation helps them relax. Others may prefer to listen to calm music or read. Taking a bath or spending time in nature can also be relaxing. It is important to find an activity that works best for your child.
Going back to school can be a nerve-wracking experience for children. Heck, it’s nerve-wracking for us parents too! However, by creating a plan, getting organized, and implementing relaxation activities, some of that back to school anxiety can be alleviated.